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Companion Animal Practice
Getting results in clinical pathology 3. Influence of age on haematological and biochemical parameters
  1. Mark Pinches

    Mark Pinches graduated from Bristol in 1995, and spent eight years in general practice, both in the UK and abroad, before completing an MSc in wild animal health at the Royal Veterinary College, London. He is currently the Axiom clinical training scholar in clinical pathology at Bristol.


WHEN haematological and biochemical results are received by the practitioner they are accompanied by the laboratory's own reference intervals. These reference ranges are derived from analysis of groups of healthy adult animals. Normal physiological changes that occur during growth and senescence can alter some laboratory parameters beyond those of the ‘normal’ adult. These changes have been well characterised in the young, but are vague in the aged animal. This article describes the more common haematological and biochemical findings in immature and aged animals, with reference to the underlying physiology and, in the geriatric, offers some guidance on interpretation when unexpected results are encountered.

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